Top lot was David Teniers the Younger’s (1610-90)Le déjeuner au jambon (The Ham Dinner), from 1648 that drew several bidders to take it well over its £800,000-1.2m estimate.
Painted on a comparatively large 2ft 1in x 2ft 10in (64 x 85cm) copper plate, the painting of a classic Flemish tavern scene was deemed a lively and well observed example of the kind of pictures that Teniers developed during the 1630s-40s.
Knocked down at £4m, it set an auction record for the artist, eclipsing the £2.7m for the portrait scene of Archduke Leopold Wilhelm and the artist in the archducal gallery which sold at Christie’s back in July 1999. It also came from a Rothschild collection – that of Barons Nathaniel and Albert von Rothschild.
Views of Venice and London
Christie’s Old Master evening sale on the same day was led by a classic Venetian painting showing the Molo, Doge’s Palace, Piazzetta and Libreria. The 2ft x 3ft 2in (61 x 98cm) oil on canvas had been ascribed to Canaletto in the past but more recently had been attributed to his nephew and student Bernardo Bellotto (1721-80).
Based on a prototype by Canaletto, it dated from c.1738 and demonstrated Bellotto’s early development as an artist.
Coming from estate of merchant banker George Pinto who died last year, it was estimated at £1m-1.5m but drew interest from a number of parties. It was knocked down at £2.25m.
Another work from a historic banking family was a panoramic view of Old London Bridge by Utrecht painter Claude de Jongh (c.1600-63). It came to auction from the descendants of the Earls of Northbrook, who founded the financial house of Baring Brothers in 1762.
The 17in x 3ft 4in (43cm x 1.02m) oil on panel was a rare contemporary record of the first stone bridge across the Thames (the only thoroughfare over the river until Westminster Bridge opened in 1750).
It is one of a small number of paintings of the scene that de Jongh derived from his 1627 drawing of the view. Others include the ‘prime’ rendition now at Kenwood House as well as examples in the V&A and the Yale Center for British Art. One other variant is known in private hands.
Estimated at £400,000-600,000, it was knocked down at £900,000, an auction record for the artist.